Fire destroyed a barn with over 2,000 bales of hay Wednesday evening on South County G in the Town of Rock. The Town of Beloit Fire Department, along with automatic aid from Turtle Fire Department, received the call at 6:45 pm and arrived to find the barn heavily involved with exposures to two other barns and a residence. A box alarm, M.A.B.A.S. Box 20-22, was pulled bringing mutual aid in from Clinton, Orfordville, City of Beloit, South Beloit, Evansville, and Rockton Fire Departments (departments are from both WI and IL). The fire was in a rural area requiring water to be tankered in from five miles away.
About a dozen horses in the lower deck of the barn, including a mare and colt, were all removed from the barn safely by firefighters and the owners. The bulk of the fire was put out within an hour, but crews remained on the scene until midnight working with a local excavator to remove and spread out the over 2,000 bales of hay to complete extinguishment. This was a time consuming labor-intensive process according to Chief Holomy.
Property damage was estimated at $112,000 with another $20,000 for contents lost. Although the fire was determined to have started in the hayloft, the exact cause remains under investigation. County Highway G remained closed until 11:30 p.m.